Today’s economic crisis is a reality, one that is causing significant stress for individuals and their families. Some may fear the loss of their home, their car or even their job. These unstable financial times can lead to anxiety and panic attacks. By practicing yoga, however, you can learn to focus your mind on today’s realities and find the courage to conquer any present strife.
Anxiety and panic attacks can be triggered by a variety of stressors. Just the thought of losing one’s home can lead to anxiety. There are simple breathing techniques that can help you to relax the mind and body. Concentrate on each breath and the movement of the abdomen, and this will help to bring you present in the moment. Practicing this technique can help you to recognize when a potential anxiety or panic attack is about to occur. In the Bhakti yoga tradition, it is believed that the practice of chanting and prayer is therapeutic for anxiety. In the Syadhyaya tradition, anxiety is treated with meditation and the practice of looking inward in an attempt to gain insight into the root of the problem. If you are plagued by repetitive thoughts or patterns in your anxiety, meditation and yoga can help to reveal these, allowing you to take control of your thoughts. Yoga teaches us to be present in the moment. This can help you to deal with current problems and not dwell on the past or the future. In Yogi philosophy, it is taught that the future cannot be controlled and that, despite an individual’s best efforts, bad things are bound to occur. Recognizing and accepting this can help to decrease anxiety levels.
Balance, focus and breathing are all techniques taught in yoga which can be put to use when it comes to your finances. Balancing your mind and body is as important as balancing your checkbook, and you can learn through yoga to minimize unnecessary spending and begin saving for your future. Yoga teaches us to be aware of our bodies and, similarly, we can learn to be aware of our spending habits. It’s important to identify what your money is spent on and why so that you can determine those purchases that are necessary and those that derive from needless wants. You can practice yoga breathing to calm you and help you to avoid making hasty financial decisions. This will also help you to focus on the present moment and guide you toward making practical financial decisions.
Yoga teaches us that it is not our material possessions that define us as a person. There are two mental barriers known as Avirati and Bhrantidarshan which can prove particularly damaging during an economic crisis. Avirati may be defined as worldly-mindedness and refers to those distractions resulting from a desire for material possessions and other objects of the world. Bhrantidarshan may be defined as wrong or delusive perceptions and refers to the action of taking a thing for what it is not, of having a general lack of intelligence and discrimination, particularly in regard to the path you have taken. Yoga can help you to break through these mental barriers by teaching you to look inside of yourself and to give up your desire for material things. Avirati and Bhrantidarshan can prevent you from obtaining true inner happiness if you cannot overcome them. Yoga also teaches you to be non-judgmental and to see life for what it is, which will help you to resolve your problems one at a time and as they occur. Through yoga, you can realize your true value and begin to see that you are not simply what you own.
Financial instability can also negatively impact your sleeping habits, causing you endless nights of tossing and turning as you worry about the stock market or when the economic crisis will end. Sleepless nights rob you of your energy during the day. By focusing on your breathing, you can control your body and slow your heart rate, allowing you to relax and finally sleep. Furthermore, practicing more energetic forms of yoga like power yoga and Ashtanga yoga for three mornings a week will also help you to sleep at night. Several yoga poses are ideal for relaxing you and helping you to sleep, including child’s pose and corpse pose. Child’s pose can be performed while visualizing calm thoughts, allowing your consciousness to float away. Corpse pose focuses on relaxing and softening each part of your body through your breath. As you focus on your breath, your burdens will slowly fade and you will fall asleep.
Through yoga, you can obtain a mind-body connection and focus on your inner self. This, in turn, will help you to give up material wants and realize what is truly important in life. Financial difficulties worry most of us, but we should not allow them to consume us. Instead, try to realize the deeper meaning in life, take each day as it comes, and resolve each issue as it arises. Through yoga, you can learn to live in the present and prepare yourself for whatever may come your way.